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Would anyone know if there are any render farms in Zimbabwe available for local animators to use? What would go into building a modest one?With ZIMFAIA almost here and gone, I was thinking artists would feel freer to push the limits if they knew they wouldn't have to sit around for a month waiting for a frame to render.

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2 Answers

+3 votes
by Guru (57.6k points)
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I've not heard of any, in terms of requirements, just from a hardware side:

you need a building (or room) with good quality and reliable ZESA and a decent UPS system and generator
Air Con
Racks (to mount servers in)
n* high power rack mount server computers (as many as you like)
the important thing here is that they have very powerful CPU's and lots of RAM and ideally good graphics cards too (this is less critical in a render farm)
a high speed storage device/SAN/NAS for shared storage
hard drives (lots of them!) for that SAN/NAS

gigabit switches (or 10Gig if budget allows) - ideally all servers would be  twin NIC or better and the switches managed so that you can do network bonding to increase throughput

- then you just need the software to manage all that!

not cheap thats for sure - i have not factored in internet access because i would assume that this is a local offline render farm that you would go to and connect locally to the network via Gigabit ethernet but you would need to factor in high quality fibre access and a fast enough pipe if you were to open it up to internet access
by Guru (88.1k points)
until ZESA comes to its senses and start to offer 99.999% power reliabilty most high tech stuff are going to remain pipe dreams
0 votes
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Excellent answer from anthony.

There are few studios with their own render-farms. Probably not to the commercial scale available elsewhere. But certainly better than your one rig. You may want to consider approaching the "big studios" like GTA and convince them to "sponsor" you by using their rendering facilities for your animation during idle time. Render power is the greatest challenge in computer animation & CGI.
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